The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has questioned Health Minister Harsh Vardhan about issuing Ayush treatment protocol for COVID-19 treatment and asked him to explain on what basis these recommendations were made.
AYUSH secretary Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha, speaking about the protocol earlier this week at a Health Ministry press conference, had specified that the protocol is not COVID treatment and should be only considered as a support to those having mild COVID symptoms.
Here are the latest updates:
Police ask Kolkata Durga Puja organisers to follow COVID- 19 regulations
Kolkata Police on Friday asked Durga Puja organisers in the city to rigorously follow all COVID-19 regulations and ensure that revellers mandatorily wear masks while entering the marquees during the five-day festival which will begin on October 23.
City Commissioner of Police Anuj Sharma also said that puja committees should ensure that revellers adhere to the physical distancing norms inside pandals and are given masks by puja committees if they do not have them.
He asked organisers to mark spaces for revellers near the pandals in keeping with the physical distancing norms and make separate entry and exit points in them.
Odisha moves Centre against Bhubaneswar MP Aparajita Sarangi
The Odisha government on Friday urged the Centre to rein in Aparajita Sarangi, Member of Parliament from Bhubaneswar and recently appointed national spokesperson of the Bharatiya Janata Party, who has been accused of habitually violating COVID-19 guidelines.
Odisha Minister of State for Home Dibya Shankar Mishra shot off a letter to his counterpart Nityanand Rai, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, pointing out that Ms. Sarangi was surrounded by hundreds of women who were neither wearing masks nor maintaining social distance at the MP’s birthday celebration on Thursday.
“They were indulging in in song and dance with utter disregard to COVID guidelines issued under the National Disaster Management Act and the earnest repeated appeals made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi regarding the same,” Mr. Mishra mentioned.
Odisha government falls prey to fake news on Oxford University study
The Odisha government seems to have fallen prey to fake news. A dubious news report citing a purported Oxford University study that praised measures to contain COVID-19 spread in Ganjam district was promoted by the top Odisha administration on social media.
Quoting the news report, Office of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik jumped to highlight the ‘recognition’ by tweeting, “Ganjam earned praise from @UniofOxford for its successful model of #COVID-19 infection prevention. The district excelled in #CovidManagement by empowering sarpanchs, forming committees in villages for intensive screening and by ensuring proper healthcare.”
As soon as the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) put out the tweet on Thursday, the official handle of the district magistrate of Ganjam too tweeted, “Ganjam Model of COVID Management got recognized by @UniofOxford for successful infection prevention strategies. Our gratitude and appreciation to Team Ganjam.”
COVID-19 patients can vote through postal ballot in Karnataka Bypolls
A file photo of people queuing up to exercise postal ballot in Vijayapura.
To ensure that none misses out on voting in the bypolls amid the pandemic, the Election Commission has extended postal ballot facility for voters with physical disabilities, those aged above 80, and active COVID-19 positive patients or suspected patients who are either in institutional or home quarantine.
The bypolls to Sira and Rajarajeshwarinagar Assembly segments are scheduled for November 3.
SARS-CoV-2 not the last virus to spark a pandemic, says expert
The SARS-CoV-2 wouldn’t be the last such virus of its kind — in terms of its ability to rapidly spread among people — and the next such virus of its kind could be a “MERS-2” even (a reference to the Middle Eastern Respiratory Virus that is more lethal but less contagious), said Susan Weiss, Professor of Microbiology at the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania.
Prof. Weiss was the key note speaker at the first TNQ-Janelia India COVID-19 Seminar, 2020. The first of the three online-only talks commenced on Friday.